Successful in her teaching job at a conservative religious college, Camille (Pascale BussiŤres) looked forward to marrying her adoring, minister boyfriend (Henry Czerny) and settling down to the conventions of family and c... more »areer. But a chance encounter with a beautiful, irresistibly sensuous young female circus performer named Petra (Rachael Crawford) is about to transform Camille s predictable life into an electrifyingly erotic adventure.
Captivated by Petra s impulsive sexuality and passionately free spirit, Camille is drawn into a world whose existence she never dared imagined: A world of hypnotic sensuality, rapturous self-discovery and exquisite erotic pleasure.
Now, walking an emotional high-wire between the familiar past and the forbidden future, Camille must choose between the love she can t forget... and the desire she can t resist.« less
"This film in my view is the best coming-out story that I've seen portrayed, since Desert Hearts. This viewer can take the role of any of the major characters and empathize. The actresses were convincing as lesbians.The pain Martin felt personally and to his ego I felt, but all's fair in love. The issues and decisions that both Carmille and Petra had to make were realistically and tenderly portrayed. For example, Carmille's decision to follow her desire and heart or her decision to leave her okay life for a prospect shows a great deal of courage and spontaneity. Martin, I'm sure is a proponent of a bird in the hand philosophy.And Petra's pursuit of Carmille was laudable for an individual who seemed so carefree to dare confront a woman so emerged in religion; a woman, who already has a man (What a dyke!). The symbolism between christianity vs. circus life appeared a bit satanic for my taste; but it didn't distract from the movie. Instead it added to Carmille's journey of self-discovery from one end of the pendulum to the other. Both women were beautiful and sensual as disparate from sexy and provocative and as a woman I can appreciate that. Both women were able to make their respective characters come alive realistically.I've watched this movie several times and there is no end in site. I'm a fan and looking for more from Patricia Rozema. Watching this moving more than once I can appreciate the time, effort, talent, detail and affection that she put into each character and each scene. She did a great job. This is a good movie."
In the top 5 of BEST LESBIAN FLICKS
qualuku | Beltsville, MD United States | 06/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'll have to admit..I'm a lesbian trapped in a man's body! Nothing is more enjoyable than to see a successful love relatioship between two women. Unfortunately, in movies (major and independents) nothing is more rare! I am so tired of self hating lesbian directors making movies about sick, twisted women behaving in self-destructive behavior! Fortunately!!! This movie is not one! A wonderfully acted, enjoyable LOVE STORY between a lesbian and a "convert to lesbianism". You might even say a convert to real love, after having a ho-hum relationship with a man- just because it's what's expected. Some of the story is kind of silly or quirky, but adds to the oddball character of the movie. American movies can be so tedious sometimes...foreign movies (especially Canadian ones), tend to take more chances and less car chases! A BEAUTIFUL movie with incredible music to boot! The two sister trapeeze act during the love scene is worth the price of the movie...they are former Cirque du Soleil performers. SOME ADVICE.........You can get this movie on DVD on some Canadian websites. The love scenes are extended and well worth buying the DVD for....Also, it is a MUCH better re-mastered copy with director's commentary. The movie is funny in spots....very tender and passionate.....beautifully photographed....and the acting is first rate. One of my favorite lovestories...straight or lesbian."
A Great Fine Art Film
bunnyrabbit4 | New Orleans, LA USA | 12/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am so glad that Criterion picked up this film. The DVD came out late, well after the initial release of the video had disappeared. Recent showings on the LOGO network have rekindled some well deserved interest.
Most Lesbian films are just plain bad. With the rare exception of a film like Desert Hearts, they are mindless romps by undeveloped, self-absorbed characters. They always end in the bedroom, usually to a lush musical score, because the plot literally can't go anywhere else. This film is not only a good lesbian film but a beautiful, artistically rendered chronical of a quirky relationship between two very eccentric people. The cinematography alone makes it so visually compeling that you could watch it just for that. It has a fine rhythmic pacing and a color saturation reminiscent of David Lynch. The color filled Art Circus atmosphere that surrounds one character pops as it is interspered with the staid beiges and browns that paint the academic world of the other. One scene that intercuts a car headlight dancing across a bedroom wall, a circus act that uses bouncing lights behind a screen and one of the female leads making love to her boyfriend turns editing into an artform. Well worth the price!"
Excellent, with a few reservations
Yellowknifer | Yellowknife, NT | 06/17/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"We watched this film last night, and to say we were impressed is insufficient. This is a touching lesbian love story, an evocative discovery of a woman's sexual identity, and an entertaining couple movie, all bundled in an incredibly erotic package. Camille, played by Pascale Bussières (well-known in Quebec for her role as the title character in the wildly popular mini-series "Blanche") is a repressed, conservative teacher at a Toronto Christian college. Camille is engaged to Martin (Henry Czerny), a fellow teacher at the college. Czerny is miscast in my opinion--it is sadly difficult to separate his character from the abusive and menacing Brother Lavin of "The Boys of St. Vincent". Czerny's brooding, hooded stare distances him from the viewer and makes him far less sympathetic than his character demands in this film. Camille's engagement seems not to touch her very deeply, despite a passionate love scene she shares with Martin, and in a moment of vulnerability she is "cruised" and captured by Petra, a circus performer wild-child played by newcomer Rachael Crawford. Petra visibly falls head-over-heels in love with Camille and the love affair which blossoms is beautiful and exciting in its intensity. The viewer's emotions are snagged and held by the way the initial infatuation develops into profound love between the two women. Despite the foregoing, I have a couple of reservations about the film. The musical score is excellent--dark and sinister for the circus rehearsal and audition scenes and ethereal for the dream sequences--however it would have been nice to hear more of Shirley Eikhart's voice other than in harmony. The sets are good, but the "iron" scene is just plain weird and does not fit the Cirque du Soleil-like atmosphere. Is it a prerequisite of Canadian films that they display their artsy independence with strange camera angles, sentinel-like trees and transmission towers, and nausea inducing spinning? And one last minor whinge about the DVD: Patricia Rozema is a talented and courageous director, but her "director's commentary" is for the most part mind-numbingly boring and uninformative. We kept commenting that we wanted to learn more about the locations, the cast and the crew, only to be treated to a metaphysical soliloquoy delivered in a self-conscious monotone. In all, 4 stars for an excellent story, well delivered, with a few relatively minor cavils."
This is an enchanting film
firstname.lastname@example.org | Sydney, Australia | 02/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had seen "When Night is Falling" in the video store for maybe 4 years. When I finally picked it up last week I was happy to find that $1 would buy me a weeks worth of viewing. Was that dollar worth handing over? An emphatic YES is my only response. I'd have happily paid the usual $7 had I known this movie would be so good.Going to work the following day, I was still entranced by this beautiful love story. Instead of actually doing work, I decided to find out some more information about this movie. After going to amazon.com, I was overjoyed to find that so many others were also thrilled be this film.The cinematography was magnificant and left me longing to visit those snow encrusted forests of Canada. I'm still dazzled by the swirling power staunchion over Petra's head. And like so many others, I too was capitivated (maybe even spellbound) by Camille beauty. My only regret in having finally seen "When Night is Falling" is that I now have the knowledge that such consuming passion can exist. Had I not seen this film, I might never have wanted to experience that passion myself.I have the arduous task of handing back the video to the store today. Perhaps "When Night is Falling" answers the "wordless question" that so many other movies have been unable to answer. I certainly feel it has answered some questions for me."